Cooking Time: 30 Min Servings: 4
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for bench flour
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons Olive Scene mild Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more as needed
- ½ cup sliced garlic (about 5 to 7 cloves)
- Kosher salt
- 1 grafitti eggplant, peeled and cut into medium dice
- 1 red pepper, seeded and cut into medium dice
- 3 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves picked
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ lemon, thinly sliced (3 to 4 slices)
- Olive Scene mild Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
For the gnocchi:
- To a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, Parmesan cheese, and lemon zest.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the ricotta cheese and egg.
- Combine well with a wooden spoon or with your fingers until the dough just comes together, taking care not to overwork, which could cause the dough to toughen.
- Scrape the dough onto a well-floured surface and pat into a rough square.
- If it's tacky to the touch, add a bit more flour so you can form it with your hands.
- Using a bench scraper, cut the pasta dough into 4 even pieces.
- Gently roll each piece into foot-long ropes, about 1-inch in diameter, flouring as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to the surface.
- Cut each rope into ½ to ¾ inch wide pieces.
- Place the gnocchi onto a floured, parchment-lined, baking sheet and into the freezer, uncovered.
- Keep in the freezer until ready to cook.
For the eggplant:
- Place a saute pan over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons blended oil.
- Once heated, add the garlic and pinch of salt.
- Do not brown, just sweat for 30 seconds.
- Add the eggplant and season again with salt. Cook's Note: The salt will help pull out the excess moisture from the eggplant.
- Add a bit more oil if necessary; the eggplant may quickly soak up what is already in the pan.
- Once this starts to breakdown, after about 2 minutes, add a bit more oil, if needed, the red pepper and freshly picked oregano leaves.
- Toss to combine, lower the heat and allow to slowly cook while starting the sauce.
For the sauce:
- To another saute pan, add ½ cup unsalted butter and allow to melt over medium heat.
- Add the lemon slices to the butter and allow to saute while you cook the gnocchi.
- Meanwhile, to a pot of boiling water, add enough salt and make it taste like the ocean.
- Carefully add the gnocchi to the boiling water and allow to cook.
- Once the gnocchi start to float, after about 2 to 3 minutes, remove them from the water using a slotted spoon and add them to the butter pan and allow to brown, about 2 minutes.
- Reserve the pasta water.
- Spoon about half of the eggplant mixture into the butter-gnocchi pan.
- Toss in ¼ cup pasta water, drizzle extra-virgin olive oil, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, and 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and toss to combine.
- Once the butter melts, place onto plate.
- Drizzle the plate with extra-virgin olive oil and more Parmesan cheese.